This article emphasizes that, in order to accomplish your objectives with your bosses, you first need to understand them, their roles and their expectations.

Getting Started

Introduction to the article (perhaps by having everyone read it)

Everyone at one time or another has been in the situation of trying to negotiate changes with a person in authority. Often this is regarded as a stressful event, a win-lose situation. A number of factors affect the outcome of such encounters and this article suggests that knowing and understanding your boss is one of the best ways to prepare for success. In addition, the article proposes that clearly understanding the bigger issues at stake will go a long way towards ensuring future successes.

Subject Area(s) covered

Business studies, social studies

New Terms to explain

Compensation package

Materials Needed

Access to the article

Study and Discussion Activity

Key things students can learn from this lesson

  • It is important to understand clearly the issues involved when negotiating.
  • It is important to understand the other person and their motivations in order to be successful.

Action (here’s how we’ll do it)

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to think of two occasions when they attempted to negotiate issues with a person in authority – one in which they were successful and one in which they were not.
  • Ask them to write down what they believed was the difference between the two and what made the one example successful.
  • Have them offer their examples, either through a group session (either in person or in a Zoom setting) or in small breakout groups (again either virtual or in person).
  • Once they have done this, reconvene the class as a whole and ask them to explain what is meant by “walking a mile in another person’s shoes”.
  • Once they have identified the essential meaning of the phrase – seeing things from the other’s point of view and understanding their situation – ask them how important they think this is when entering a negotiation with that person.

Consolidation of Learning

  • With this as background preparation, direct them to the article and allow them time to read it.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how important it is, when negotiating with a person in authority, to understand the other’s position and motivations.

Confirming Activities

  • Have the students revisit their example of unsuccessful negotiation and consider, using the new information from the class activities and article, how they might have approached things differently in order to achieve success.
  • Have the students prepare a short writing assignment for submission that outlines what they will do differently to prepare for future negotiation encounters.

Helpful Internet Searches

Activities to do together

  • The students could role play in groups of three. Prior to the role play, each student should write down a negotiation situation, outlining what constraints each person has and what they are hoping to achieve during the negotiation. Once they have completed that task, in turn, they should give one role to each of their group and allow them time to consider their situation before commencing the negotiation session. The author of the scenario would then be the observer and offer suggestions once the session has been acted out. This process would be repeated for each of the other two scenarios.